1968 - Marvin Gaye scored his first U.S. No. 1 single when "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" started a five-week run at the top. The song has a long history - written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966, first meant for Gladys Knight & the Pips, then recorded by The Miracles, then recorded by Marvin Gaye.
1977 - At the peak of the disco era, the film Saturday Night Fever opened in theaters. The soundtrack contained two previous No. 1 hits and four new ones.
1979 - The Clash released their third studio album London Calling. Before, the Clash had experimented with reggae, but that was no preparation for the dizzying array of styles on London Calling. There's punk and reggae, but there's also rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock; and while the record isn't tied together by a specific theme, its eclecticism and anthemic punk function as a rallying call. The result is a stunning statement of purpose and one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded. (Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)
1980 - Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St. George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park.
2015 - Adele was at No. 1 with her third album 25. While her themes may remain the same (love is either curdled or lost) Adele isn't the same singer as she was in 2011, nor is 25 a carbon copy of 21. Success has given her the confidence to abandon any lingering Amy Winehouse influence, taking along with it any sense of swing or sass. With 25, Adele has definitively claimed this arena of dignified heartbreak as her own.
Singer Charlie Rich ("The Most Beautiful Girl") was born today in 1932.
Jane Birkin, English actress, singer, and songwriter ( 'Je t'aime...Moi non plus', with Serge Gainsbourg) is 75.
AC/DC bass player Cliff Williams is 72.
Mike Scott, singer, songwriter, The Waterboys, is 63.
Beth Orton, English singer-songwriter, is 51.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.